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Originally published: 2014-02-10 10:18:44
Last modified: 2014-02-10 10:19:30

Save the debate for later ... action called for today

We're not much for locking the barn door after the horse is out, and debating now how the Duke Energy stormwater pipe coal ash release into the Dan River in Eden could have been prevented does nothing to solve current concerns. Surely, this incident will be fodder for that discussion going forward, but today is not that day.

It is encouraging that even the most conservative of testing agencies, albeit cautiously, have concluded that treated water from the Dan River is still safe to drink. The river serves as an intake downstream from the spill site for Danville, Va. 

Further and constant monitoring, of course, is necessary as this spill is contained and the river cleaned to ensure that safety. But even as such monitoring and testing for potable water is ongoing, other groups are right to voice concerns about what the spill portends for ecological damage beyond drinking water. Nature does not have the luxury of a top-notch filtration system.

Both an eye to today and an eye to the future are necessary to anticipate and help correct ecological damage. Duke has committed to its responsibility and doing what must be done to correct the effects of the spill. The company further says it is coordinating with federal and state environmental agencies in such efforts, and this is as it must be -- today, and tomorrow when this spill is overlapped by other news and events.